How does the ATF define semi-automatic assault rifles?

OK first off I don't want your opinion on the current issue at hand dealing with gun control, to be perfectly honest I don't care about your opinion. (not trying to be mean). I have to do a research paper and I am trying to get a general idea on a federal (ATF) definition of a "semi-automatic assault rifle". I have Googled federal definition of semi-assault rifle but can't seem to get any results. If someone could help me I would really appreciate it. Also if you have a link to the definition that would be great, that way I can cite my source

Thank you very much!


how does it insult your intelligence? I don't want to hear your opinion let alone be lectured on why your opinion is right and only yours. I'm not here to start a debate or an argument so why bother posting in the first place if that is your issue?

5 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The ATF does not define such a thing because such a thing does not exist.

    You are mixing up multiple terms. A semi-automatic rifle is not an assault rifle. A semi-automatic firearm (be it a rifle or pistol) is one where you pull the trigger once and one (only one) bullet is fired. It does not continue to spray bullets while the trigger is pulled. It also does not need a separate mechanism to pull the hammer back.

    An assault rifle a rifle where the operator can switch between single fire (semi-automatic), burst (typically three rounds), and continuous fire. Assault rifles have been severely restricted in the United States since 1934 and are expensive ($16k and up) and difficult to get (lots of paperwork and permissions needed).

    Before you make the mistake (if you were), be aware that an AR-15 is not an assault rifle. Neither is an AK-47. Both of those rifles are semi-automatic and not fully automatic.

    Wikipedia (linked below) has a respectable definition for assault rifle.

  • 4 years ago

    Define Assault Rifle

  • Toto
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    i agree with the first poster....

    the ATF does not define a semi-auto weapon...

    a semi-auto is just that...shoots semi automatically

    meaning...a shot gun has to be loaded manually between each round being fired....manually by pumping in the next round by hand...or a bolt action rifle, where you must pull the bolt back and manually eject a spent round.....

    a semi auto gun, will automatically eject the spent round and feed a new round into the chamber without manually having to do it

  • 5 years ago

    The ATF is a federal agency and use the US(federal) code which does define an assault follows:

    a semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of - (i) a folding or telescoping stock; (ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon; (iii) a bayonet mount; (iv) a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor; and (v) a grenade launcher;

    weapons such as an M16 that is fully automatic are NOT defined as assault rifles, they are classified as Machine Guns.

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  • (A)
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    You insulted my intelligence with your first sentence.Be nice,you will get better results.

    Source(s): A+
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